BY TEQUILA MINSKY | To the applause of a few witnesses, Tomokazu Matsuyama finished up his wall art around noon, adding his name “Matsu 19” in the upper right corner of the 60-by-20 foot mural on the northwest corner of Houston and Bowery.
It took the artist plus 10 assistants two weeks at 12 hours a day to complete. He wanted passersby to be a presence while the public art piece was being created.
“I try to capture who we are in this digital age,” said the Greenpoint-based Matsuyama, whose colorful design incorporates many genres.
When asked about his technique, Matsuyama responded, “This is where I categorize myself as a fine artist not some muralist.”
He uses markers, stenciling, acrylic and oil paint creating fine details adding Japanese and American imagery as well as textile patterns and design.
Matsuyama wanted to show the diversity of New York culture while referencing his own Japanese background. He has lived in New York for 17 years.
The artist has been showcased internationally, and has also taught at the School of Visual Arts. He joined renowned artists Keith Haring and Banksy, who also painted the Houston and Bowery wall.
Matsuyama’s next big project is to create a 24-foot-tall sculpture of stainless steel to be installed for the 2020 Summer Olympics at the JR Shinjuku Station in Tokyo.